NYC Girl's Heart, Lungs Fail After Dad's Rat Poison Mistake - NBC New York

NYC Girl's Heart, Lungs Fail After Dad's Rat Poison Mistake

Nazifa Jahan and her entire family were exposed to the chemical on Oct. 21 after their father put out the poison in an attempt to eliminate a bedbug infestation, sources said

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A desperate attempt to get rid of a bed bug problem instead has a 3-year-old fighting for her life in intensive care. Ida Siegal reports.

    (Published Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017)

    In the past three weeks, Nazifa Jahan has had a heart attack, lung failure and an emergency heart surgery.

    And now, the 3-year-old is on life support at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx after being exposed to the highly toxic pesticide aluminum phosphide. 

    Sources told News 4 that Nazifa and her entire family were exposed to the chemical on Oct. 21 after their father put out the poison in an attempt to eliminate a bedbug infestation.

    But, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family, the chemical -- according to the EPA is meant to eliminate rats and other rodents and shouldn't be used within 15 feet of a home -- quickly aerated, and the entire family was taken to the hospital with nausea, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

    Nazifa -- who loves reading, cooking in a Minnie Mouse Kitchen and singing -- had the worst reaction to the poison. She quickly became critically ill, her lungs and heart both failing in tandem. Doctors conducted an emergency surgery after she had a heart attack. 

    Now, according to the fundraiser, she is on life support with a heart that cannot beat on its own. 

    “I feel very sad,” said neighbor Mohammad Ali. “She’s very sick.”

    Her family, meanwhile, is shut out of their Bronx apartment and facing fines from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection if they do not sign on a contractor to decontaminate the home. In an update, the fundraiser said the contractor was charging nearly $50,000 to remove the chemicals.

    “They need all the help and prayers they can get to return home so they can focus all their efforts on being by Nazifa’s side through this difficult time,” a family friend said in the fundraiser.

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency aluminum phosphide is among the most toxic pesticides that should not be used within 15 feet of a home. The poison was blamed for the deaths of two young Utah sisters in 2010, according to WIRED.

    Neighbors, who said their homes weren’t contaminated, said they were hoping that Nazifa makes a recovery.

    “This is a good family, of course,” said Shahide Bezum.

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